Saturday, February 28, 2015

Thinking Food

I went to bed around 3am last night (this morning?) the result of a combination of Netflix and trying to recover from nasal congestion through extreme hydration (which also means extreme frequency of trips to the bathroom). Luckily it's the weekend so I still got plenty of sleep and woke up at around 9am. There are so many things to do today, so many things going on, so naturally the first thing I do is make pancakes.

I was going for crépes, but the batter turned out a little too thick, so pancakes it was. I topped them off with Nutella, bananas, and honey, and though the flavor of the Nutella and honey clashed a bit, they were oh-so-good. I'm like that character Nate the Great from the little detective series that I used to read in elementary school. He always needs pancakes when he needs to think, and for me it's a bit opposite. I tend to think a lot while I'm making pancakes. It's relaxing, like yoga or meditation, and I'm really good at making pancakes, so it helps to do something I know I can succeed at.

Back to the thinking bit and the things going on, right now is Squals weekend. I should be way freaked out, or way productive trying to put some finishing touches on my posters or practicing delivery, but for some reason I'm just completely nonchalant about it, like I don't care. But I do, and I know I do, because I've been waiting for this since forever. My freshman and sophomore years, I had meager success with my expos. There were so many older, more experienced students, and I felt like I just couldn't compete. I was kind of miserable, to be honest, but there wasn't much I could do except keep my nose on the grindstone and keep working.

Junior year, all the legendary seniors graduated. I was an upperclassman now, and it was my time to shine. It would finally be "The Year of Carol," but it was not meant to be. The depression hit, and all of a sudden, all my energy went towards fighting to stay alive. I didn't do expos for the entire year, and though my friends were supportive, I didn't know what to do.

Senior year then, would be my year. However, first semester still ended up riddled with social worker visits and other problems, and on top of everything, college apps. I wrote a tentative rough draft and sent it in to my coach for edits, but he didn't get back to me until second semester. That cost me quite a bit of time, but I still managed to finish the rest of the speech in four days before the tournament. Since then, I've broken at every tournament that I've gone to, but the half a year advance that everyone else had on me really took its toll. I may have broken at every tournament, but I have yet to break to finals.

That brings me to Squals. I feel pressure internally, but also a bit of pressure externally to succeed here. It's what I want, and I know I have the potential for it, but there's also that little bit of doubt that says maybe I can't do it. But I've made peace with it, and I've promised myself that I'll be okay either way. I make it to State, I've made my goal. I don't make it, it was just not meant to be.

There's something in my perfectionistic nature that behaves kind of counterintuitively. If I feel like I'm going to be unable to do something to perfection or otherwise fail at it, I'd just rather not do it at all. I'm worried that this is happening right now, because if I subconsciously think that I'm going to fail or I'm not going to qual, then that means I'm distracted by something I really can't control. Somehow I need to convince myself to have total self confidence and lift myself out of this rut so I can actually do things, which will then motivate me to keep working towards that goal. Being optimistic and seeing things as okay either way is not an option. Sure, it's comforting to soothe my self doubt, but it's not going to serve my purpose right now. And that's sufficiently motivating for now, so I'm gonna go. ◊

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